In our dreams, we’d have infinite resources for our marketing efforts and we’d dazzle the world with our intricate and clever strategies that bring abundant customers and build massive loyalty. Dreams are fun and they can inspire us to grow in new directions, but the real world is a bit more constrained. Yet within these real-world limits it is important that marketing campaigns have meaningful and determinable outcomes.
In order to measure results, you’ll have to take an in-depth look at your data. The great news is that there is a lot of data out there, but the not-so-good news is that you have to ask the right questions in order to get relevant answers. For example, if you only ever measure the volume of your Twitter audience, you might lose sight of the fact that there are a substantial number of automated accounts aka Twitter bots, as well as fake accounts and accounts that are all but abandoned. Focusing too much on vanity metrics can distract you from valid information.
So what are reasonable metrics to take into account when measuring the success of your marketing efforts? While much of the answer depends on your unique goals, such as building brand awareness, increasing retention or revenue, or conversion, there are some rules of thumb that can help you evaluate elemental data points to ascertain where your marketing currently stands.
Take a look at the total number of visitors. If your goal is simply to build brand awareness, you may be satisfied if this number increases over a certain period. However, if your goals include wider long-term gains, you’re going to have to look deeper at the numbers and investigate some indispensable data such as the source of your traffic, the number of new vs. returning visitors, the bounce rate of those visitors and whether or not a visitor took a specific action like signing up for your newsletter or following you on social media.
Remember, measuring your marketing efforts via your website is going to look different from web analytics. Web analytics regarding the technical aspects of your website can influence your results — if a pop-up takes more than a few seconds deploy, your bounce rate will increase — but marketing analytics regarding your website will show how your audience is responding to your marketing efforts.
Social media is another category where your overall marketing goals will influence how you need to look at the data. On the surface new followers and interactions can look like a positive result, but if your new followers are not part of your target audience or if the responses you get are not directly related to your brand then your current strategy is probably not effective.
A great way to see if your social media posts are bearing fruit is to try to determine how they are influencing audience behavior. If your goal is to build a dedicated audience, then retweets and shares might demonstrate that your content is appealing and encouraging the organic growth of your audience. If not, you may need to change directions or put more effort into the channel.
You’ve got a great list and you’ve been sending out your emails with regularity, but your audience is not as engaged as your targeted goals, so where is the problem? While a lengthy list might seem like a coup, if the emails are ignored, you might as well be shouting into the void. If you’re not tracking the URLs in your emails, you can’t know if (and which) people are clicking from your emails to your website.
On the other hand, if you have a high bounce rate (meaning you’re sending to a lot of dead-end email addresses) then you need to go back to the drawing board. If your bounce rate is low and your delivery rate is also low then your email may have been flagged as spam, which means you need clean up your email reputation by removing addresses with low open rates. Open and clickthrough rates as well as other behaviors such as purchases, visits to target URLs or other engagements will tell you if the strategies of your campaign are successful and resonating with your audience.
Refined marketing analytics will give you an idea as to how your audience is responding to your various campaigns. Every action you take needs to have a call to action so that you can measure if, how, and when your audience will respond. While building brand awareness is a practical goal for your marketing efforts, it can be difficult to measure over the short term.
Having an array of marketing activities with differing goals and calendars strengthens your brand. If you want to efficiently measure the effects of these activities, begin with quantitative goals and use specialized techniques so that you can measure the effectiveness of different actions, which will help you understand what’s working and what’s not.
Now that you’ve got your marketing squared away, move on to another important aspect: incorporating your business. CorpNet has a solution for every business! Call us today to find out how to protect your business.